Storing Wet Oil Paintings

Don’t you just love working with oil paints? You can spend time messing around with a complex detail without worrying that it will dry mid-brush stroke. You can leave your painting, come back at another time and still have the ability to wipe out a section you’ve decided you don’t like or alter that layer of paint before allowing it to dry. Time is on your side.

On the other hand, waiting around for paint to dry is, well, as exciting as waiting around for paint to dry. You wind up with a number of paintings in various states of completion. And, all of them need a safe place to dry without fear of winding up with smudges or smears.

So, what’s an artist to do? If you don’t have the time, inclination or skill to cobble together your own DIY drying system, here are a few ideas for drying solutions that save you time and ensure your paintings are safe and smudge-free.

Metal Floating Ledge

Metal Floating Ledge ASIN: B01C6923G6

If your studio has available wall space and you’d like to contemplate your works-in-progress whenever you want, these metal floating ledges are just the ticket.

At six feet in length and two inches wide, this 18-gauge steel shelf is perfect for holding your canvas panels safely. The white powder-coated ledge includes all the mounting hardware needed, and you can have your shelf up and ready to use with just a drill, a screwdriver and a level.

The manufacturer also has the shelf available in other sizes from one foot to five feet in length.

Rue Panel, Paper Ladder Storage

Rue Panel, Paper Ladder & Storage Rack ASIN: B01N36MWB6

I think this is my favorite rack when it comes to versatility. This unit can be mounted to a wall for vertical storage. It takes 48 inches of vertical space. There are extension legs so that you can create an angle for safer storage. In this configuration, it can hold panels up to 16″ x 12″.

As a tabletop standing unit, you can adjust the ‘A’ shape to accommodate canvases as large as 16″ x 12″ or as small as 4″ x 4″. It stands approximately 24″ tall and even storing the largest panels, it only needs 30″ of space.

If you need storage for larger panels, go with the flat option. When setting the unit horizontally on a table, the unit is 48″ long and can accommodate 24″ x 18″ canvases.

Weighing only 4.2 lbs, this wooden rack in finished in Mahogany stain and comes with all the brass plated hardware necessary to assemble it.

Dryden Art & Canvas Keeper

Dryden Art and Canvas Keeper Small Table Model ASIN: B007HRDHWC

The Dryden table model canvas keeper has a small footprint of only 15″L x 19″W x 8.75″H and weighs only six pounds when empty. It’s made of durable and lightweight enameled steel, so it’s a studio accessory you’ll use for years. It can also be mounted on a wall if flat space is unavailable. You can easily remove a canvas-filled rack from its wall mount to place elsewhere.

The unit holds a maximum of 8 gallery-style canvases or 16 standard canvases. It’s also great for transporting art in a car or van and works well as a display at a show or festival.

There are loads of DIY ideas for storing your wet paintings, but since many of us either don’t have the time or the skills necessary to create all the accessories we need for our studio, it’s sometimes more expedient to make a few essential purchases and spend that extra time painting!

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